Tuesday, July 16, 2013
As I have previously discussed, the estate of J.R.R. Tolkien sued Warner Bros. and the Saul Zaentz Co. in November 2012, claiming the estate never granted rights to license characters for slot machines and online games in a 1969 agreement. Both companies counterclaimed, contending the estate repudiated earlier grants and were in breach of contract. The companies alleged the estate’s legal challenge cost them “millions of dollars in license fees” from Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit merchandising.
Tolkien’s estate motioned to dismiss these counterclaims as being a mere effort to stifle their legal challenge using pricey litigation. U.S. District Court Judge Audrey B. Collins disagreed with the estate, refusing to dismiss the counterclaims.
See Ted Johnson, JUDGE: Warner Bros. Can Pursue ‘Lord of the Rings’ Dispute with Tolkien Estate, Variety, July 11, 2013.